Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Dream Concerning Drama

I had a dream last night that I've been thinking about all day.  I have felt like I need to type it out before it will make sense, but I haven't felt like it's writing material.  But I happened across a piece a friend of mine wrote.  She started by stating that she hasn't written in a while because she has had nothing to say, and still has nothing to say, but the blank screen in front of her is begging her for words.  So she typed, and was honest, and came out with this amazing paragraph or two, the kind that you could print off and put in a scrapbook of inspirational honesty that may be a little cheesy, but the honesty demands you heed the simple wisdom most people forget.  So I decided I'm going to write this.

I will be a college freshman in less than a month.  It is time for me to choose my courses.  I have always imagined myself as more of a math and science person than a creative humanities person.  I think I bought into the message society sends, that art is worthless, only proven facts, and by extension the provers of the facts, are worth aspiring to.  I've grown to admire artists for not only their talent, but more for their perseverance, expecially in the face of all the competition and obstacles our culture presents for them.  I think I've also come to discover a bit of an artist in me, greater than the scientist in me.  But I don't believe I have what it takes to be an artist as a profession.  I'm not strong enough to be an artist in my world.

I was planning on taking a history class, but none of them fit into my schedule.  None of the other pre-reqs I could take fit into my schedule either.  As a last resort, I registered for Basic Drawing, thinking it could transfer as an elective.  But I have been doubting the wisdom of this decision.

I had a dream last night.  It was a rather long dream, so I will only tell the parts that seem relevant.  I was in my old school, the one full of people I do not like.  In the dream it was set up the way it was before they remodeled it since I've left.  Mr. M's drama room was right next too Mrs. L's art room at the end of an offset, ususally empty hallway.  For some reason, I was down this hallway and heading back towards the main body of the school.  people were bustling about everywhere.  Mr. M was talking to another memeber of the staff, but when he saw me walking in the opposite direction, he asked me what was going on, I told him what I knew, then when I started on my way again, he stopped me and said "You better be in my (drama) class this semester."  I had the feeling it was my last semester and I'd avoided his class for a while.  As I approached his classroom, I tried to see who was inside, who to prepare to meet.  I was ready for the worst.  I saw many people I've met, all of whom very full of themselves, except one girl who is a year younger than me.  I met her at my second high school.  We are friends.  She bounced over to me through the chattering crowd.

In real life, Mr. M was my drama teacher in seventh and eighth grade, as well as my eighth grade leadership class, which sounds like a lame class but it was actually really good.  The last time I was in a play, it was for his class.  "Ax of Murder".  I was Cassandra Tyree, the "Fortune Teller" who could "sense" where the play responsible for an increasing number of deaths was.  I got to do basically whatever I wanted on stage - nothing was too crazy for this character - with a loud, thick German accent.  I loved it and I received tons of positive feedback.  When my sister was in his drama class, he would torment my sister about me, and people would begin asking about me.  My sister reported that he said I could be a professional actress if I wanted to be one.  Which carries quite a bit of weight, coming from him.

I would love to perform in a play again.  But the thing with plays is that they require so much prep time, and during that prep time you are with your fellow cast members.  You become a family with them, or you become a loner by yourself.  Obviously, being alone is never fun. And in what I have experienced and observed,  I do not like most of the personality types that become involved in drama club.  Granted, my experience and observations are limited to Junior high and High School drama clubs. 

I have searched for Shakespearean Theaters around where I live.  Sadly, I cannot find any.

I have been told a few times by a few different people that I should be a model, a suggestion which I sincerely laugh at - the person I see in the mirror is not fit to be a model.  I wonder what they see?   But this has happened more than once, so I assume there is something to it. 

Earlier this summer, I received a letter in the mail (not from the more common Junior Miss America I receive and ignore every year) that said someone I know thought I was a good candidate and would enjoy being in a pageant.  I have no idea who gave them my name.  It was not family, because they would have signed my sisters up as well.  I gave the decision more thought than I would want to admit, but I ultimately decided against it.  The money involved was tempting (I have college to pay for!).  I decided that, flattering as it was, I would not model on principle.  I believe honest work is the only right way to advance one's self, and I would like to live as unmaterialistically as I can, I will not ask for blinders.  Modeling strikes me as a profession of glory without honor.  I want the true, beautiful glory of honor.  I would still greatly appreciate knowing who thought I would make a good pageant model.  Such a mystery!

Back to last night's dream.  I was traveling through a doorway in the hallway again, but this doorway looked smaller than the rest of the hall, and it was in fact even smaller than it looked!  I barely managed to come out on the other side!  While I was struggling to pass through, I heard one of my uncles say something.  I don't remember what he said in the dream.  But when I was trying to remember what he said in the dream today, I remembered a couple of things he told me in real life:  God gave me every talent I have for a reason.   "Use it or loose it" applies to them - I have these talents, I am meant to use every single one of them (I'd be surprised what I can get out of them), but it's up to me to exercise them, else they will disappear over time.  These things he told me years ago are what I am being reminded of now, at this point in my life.

My mom has told me that she thinks I would make an excellent English teacher/theater director.  I'm not so sure.  To me it depends more on the people I would be working with, and the age group. But it does sound appealing to me.  It bothers me that she always seems to know what decision I am going to make before I do.

The last images of the dream involve standing on top of a mountain overlooking a huge gaping valley.  It was an unexpected and glorious image.  I was with one guy, who I met on my way there.  I was walking out of my old school building, and he was heading into it.  He knew where he was going, he'd been there and back many times, but my attitude toward the place was "I am not putting up with this any longer!"  while his was "I don't have much of a choice, where else am I going to go?".  I stopped to talk to him, and he said he'd escort me until I knew where I was going.  somehow, the building merged into a dark brushy place where the doors were supposed to be.  We walked, there were some upwards slopes, but it was mostly flat.  The small beaten path we were on was surrounded by thick trees and bushes.  After the confusing intersection, we decided he did not need to go back. We had a lot of fun as we traveled, we passed many different colored bushes (we called them rainbow bushes) each bearing a different kind of fruit.  We were laughing most of the way.  And we wanted to leap over the valley when we reached it.  It was beautiful.  But we could not leap together.  It was an unexpected ending to the otherwise directionless journey we made.  And the valley from above was a wonderful image to have in my head when I woke up.

"The Men of the East may spell the stars
and times and triumphs mark,
But the Men signed of the Cross of Christ
go gaily in the dark."
~ The Ballad of the White Horse

Faust, Midas, and Myself
By Switchfoot

This one's about a dream
I had last night
How an old man tracked me home
And stepped inside
He put his foot inside the door
And gave a crooked smile
Something in his eyes
Something in his laugh
Something in his voice
It made my skin crawl off

He said, "I've seen you here before
I know your name.
You could have your pick
Of pretty things.
You could have it all
Everything at once.
Everything you've seen,
Everything you'll need,
Everything you've ever had in fantasies."

"You've one life,
You've one life.
You've one life left to lead."

I woke up from my dream
As a golden man
With a girl I've never seen
With golden skin
I jumped up to my feet
She asked me what was wrong
I began to scream
I don't think this is me
Is this just a dream
Or really happening?

What direction?
What direction?
I'm splitting up!
I'm splitting up!
This is my personal disaffection

What direction? What direction?
What direction now?

I looked outside the glass
At golden shores
with Golden ships and masts
With golden cords
As my reflection passed
I hated what I saw
My golden eyes were dead
And a thought passed through my head
A heart that's made of gold can't really beat at all

I wanted to wake up again
I wanted to wake up again
Without a touch of gold
Without a touch of gold

What direction?
Death or action!
Life begins at the intersection.

I woke up as before
But the gold was gone
My wife was at the door
With her night robe on
My heart beat once or twice
And life flooded my veins
Everything had changed
My lungs had found their voice
And what was once routine
And what was once routine was now the perfect joy

You've one life
You've one life
you've one life left to lead

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